The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE MCGRANE

As film char­ac­ters go, they don’t get more far­ci­cal than Zoolander.

He’s the male model who can’t turn left and also has the abil­ity to stop weapons with his sig­na­ture look. Yet Zoolander ac­tor Ben Stiller has re­vealed that some peo­ple find the film and its char­ac­ters a re­al­is­tic de­pic­tion of the fash­ion world.

The in­com­pa­ra­ble Derek Zoolander be­came a cult favourite and spawned mil­lions of blue-steel mo­ments across the globe in 2001 with its in­cred­i­bly out­landish look at the world of fash­ion.

De­sign­ers were also as­sas­sins (Will Fer­rell, as the brash and ridicu­lous Mu­gatu) and male mod­els were at risk of death from friv­o­lous fights at petrol sta­tions.

But just as rock­ers, in­clud­ing Ozzy Os­bourne, thought rock mock­u­men­tary

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) was ac­tu­ally a doc­u­men­tary of life on the road, Stiller says he’s of­ten ap­proached by fash­ion-in­dus­try types who say Zoolander seems real.

“I get mod­els and male mod­els com­ing up to me say­ing ‘that’s my life, oh my God that’s my life’. Some peo­ple think it’s a doc­u­men­tary,” Stiller says.

“For some rea­son, peo­ple in the fash­ion world do seem to con­nect with the movie.

“I look at it and go ‘wow, this is a very car­toon­ish re­al­ity’ but there are cer­tain aspects of how peo­ple re­act in high pres­sure fash­ion mo­ments that re­late in real life, even though it’s all very height­ened in the fash­ion world, too.”

Re­al­is­tic or not, Zoolander cer­tainly struck a chord with au­di­ences who like to laugh and 15 years later Stiller has come back with a se­quel.

In prepa­ra­tion for his re­turn to the role, the ac­tor went back and watched the first film again. “At first it was a lit­tle bit like ‘Oh wow, how do I do this?’ I watched the first movie be­fore we started shoot­ing just to get a sense, be­cause it’s been a while,” he says. “But then we sort of fell into it af­ter a week or two and it felt very nat­u­ral. It was fun be­cause Derek’s a very spe­cific char­ac­ter, he re­acts to things in a very spe­cific way.”

In keep­ing with the tra­di­tion of the first film,

Zoolander 2 has a lot of celebrity cameos. Justin Bieber’s ap­pear­ance has al­ready been re­vealed in the trailer for the movie but the rest will re­main a se­cret un­til its re­lease.

One leg­endary ap­pear­ance from the first film, which seems par­tic­u­larly poignant now, is the late David Bowie who Stiller didn’t ap­proach for the se­quel.

“I didn’t think we could ever top that mo­ment with David,” he says. “First of all, the fact that he even did the first movie was amaz­ing be­cause no­body knew what we were do­ing at that point and I don’t know why he said yes.

“But he le­git­imised us and I just felt like there were cer­tain scenes that I couldn’t re­ally top from the first movie so I didn’t even want to try to at­tempt to do that.”

An­other per­son who doesn’t reap­pear in the se­quel is US-pres­i­den­tial wannabe Don­ald Trump, al­though Stiller says he did ap­proach him – al­beit with an ul­te­rior mo­tive.

“I did ask Don­ald Trump to come back. I was just try­ing to get him to drop out of the pres­i­den­tial race,” Stiller says.

The ac­tor’s wife of 16 years, Chris­tine Tay­lor, played his love in­ter­est in the first movie but in this in­stal­ment, Stiller has en­listed Span­ish ac­tor Pene­lope Cruz for the task.

Ac­cord­ing to Stiller, this hasn’t made for awk­ward mo­ments around the din­ner ta­ble be­cause Tay­lor was cool with it. Hav­ing a new fe­male lead gave Stiller the op­por­tu­nity to kick­start the story and make some drama hap­pen and, with­out giv­ing too much away, Tay­lor does re­turn for a small role in the se­quel. “She un­der­stood and she’s in the movie which is great.” And Stiller is happy to be back in the role again rock­ing Mag­num, Blue Steel and a new look yet to be re­vealed.

Zoolander 2 opens to­day

Ben Stiller, Owen Wil­son and Pene­lope Cruz in Zoolander 2.

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